Thursday, July 31, 2014

backyard birds

I'm finally taking some time to process some of my photos....these were taken in our backyard in May.

You know how you see certain things....or smell certain things....and it takes you right back to your childhood no matter how old you are? Flowering crabapple trees always remind me of my dad. He planted one in our backyard when I was small, and then he used it as a backdrop for many portrait photos of me over the years. When we moved to our current home, I planted my first flowering crab.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I haven't been out taking may photos for a long, long time. However, I do grab my camera and go out into the yard on occasion :)

A couple of years ago, John dug out a huge pond next to our flower garden. We have koi and goldfish, and one very big frog. I was sitting on the rock bench beside the pond a few days ago after feeding the fish, and noticed the frog at the edge of the pond. He (she?) was opening and closing his mouth and of course I thought "I need my camera"! I grabbed my gear from the house...and a nice comfy chair pad because there is stone around our pond and my knees are not kind to me these days.

Here are a couple of photos of my set up:
here's my set up...I circled the frog in red to make it easier for you to find him

patience requires comfort...I was kneeling on a chair pad waiting for the frog to croak
I took many, many photos of the frog but he refused to open his mouth! I lost patience...took some other photos...
looking around the garden
....go back to the task at hand it!
I actually like the close mouthed photo better, but now you know how I amuse doesn't take much!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yellow Chairs on the LaHave

Edited on July 30: All is resolved. I contacted the bakery...said I was thrilled that they used my photo...and asked for photo credit....which has now been given. I have been approached by a Maritime magazine twice in the past for use of my photos and when I asked for photo credit, they decided not to use the photos. It doesn't surprise me when people steal things from the internet, but it disappoints me when professional businesses expect to use images without a simple photo credit.

Let me say....before you read this blog post....that I love eating at the LaHave Bakery...I enjoy the food, and love the atmosphere. I also love eating food from the LaHave Bakery while sitting on their wharf. Nothing beats eating good food on a sunny day by the water.

Now...on to the purpose of today's post....

Following people on facebook leads to all kinds of discoveries. A friend posted information about an upcoming photography exhibit on her timeline....which led me to her website...which had a link to a website for LaHave Bakery....which I clicked on.

So I took a look at their home page and what do I see? A photograph I took and included on a blog post in 2010:

my photograph from a 2010 blog post
from the LaHave Bakery website

Then I clicked through to their facebook page, and they are using my photo as their banner!
LaHave Bakery facebook page
I am quite honoured that they are using my photo on their home page and as their facebook banner. However, it would have been nice to be asked for my permission....or at least to give me photo credit. After all, I do have this right on the side bar of my blog:
Please respect the words and images on this blog - they're my own photos and words and subject to copyrights. Please contact me for permission to use them. I'm nice - I'll probably let you. Or, hey, if you want to purchase a high resolution version of these images send me an email. Thanks. Sara Harley © 2014

So....even though it's unacknowledged and unpaid....does this make me a professional photographer?  LOL!

Monday, July 28, 2014


We spotted a bald red winged blackbird in our yard a couple of weeks ago. Apparently this is more common with bluejays and cardinals.
According to the wealth of information on the internet:
For some unknown reason, a few birds lose all their head feathers at once, instead of molting in staggered fashion, like other birds. The head feathers invariably grow back, but it is a bit disconcerting to see these beautiful birds looking so unhandsome.

We haven't seen him in a while. Either the other birds laughed at him and drove him away, or his feathers have returned and he is still visiting us!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

my 2 minutes of fame

Blurb Books flew me to Toronto in December 2013 to film a segment about my Paws For Charity Project. The video has finally been released!

I'd like to thank Karen Weiler from Posh Pets Photography ( for helping with the filming. Karen was a project participant in 2013 and again this year.

And...of course...a HUGE THANK YOU to the team at Blurb Books for giving me an experience of a lifetime!

Monday, July 14, 2014


I put up a new hummingbird feeder a week or so ago. One day last week, I looked out and there was a stream of ants going down the feeder. Many had gotten inside the feeder and were swimming in the hummer food. I cleaned up the mess, but before I did that I grabbed my camera and macro lens. I took most of the photos when they were on the "umbrella"...a little contraption from Lee Valley Tools that you fill with water to keep ants out of the hummingbird feeder (our umbrella was empty of water, hence the ant invasion). The feeder is all fixed now with fresh hummer food, and the little umbrella is filled with water so there will be no more chances to take ant photos in this location!

Did you ever sing this song when you were a kid?

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stops to suck her thumb
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

book projects

Back in December, I was flown from Halifax to Toronto by Blurb Books for 2 days of filmed interviews about my Paws For Charity Project. Still waiting to see that 2 minute video!

However, answering all of their questions really made me think about how much I love making books. Every year, I make a memory book for John and give it to him at Christmas. I have made books for our grandchildren, family vacations, the photo club I belong to, and fundraisers for various groups.

This year, I made a couple of books for an artist who I met through my Paws For Charity Project. Carrie Jacobson ( has donated her pet portrait images to the Paws Project for several years, but she does a lot more than pet portraits. She uses oil paint and a pallet knife to create her art, and I just love her style. Bold brush strokes make me think of energy and confidence, and boy! would I like to have that much confidence in my own work.

Carrie has completed a couple of sponsored painting sponsor her at different levels and she paints like crazy during her trip, then her sponsors get to choose the painting they want to keep. So cool! She documents her trips on a blog (you can see this year's trip by visiting here: This year, I worked with Carrie to create book versions of her trip. I made one book to use as a "portfolio" book that she could take with her while during the art show circuit and to show galleries samples of her work. I also created a more detailed book of the stories behind all the paintings she created on her trip.

You can take a look at her book (and maybe even order a copy!) here:

I really enjoyed the challenge of putting these books together!
Harold Rowsell (SHAID) accepts $880 Paws For Charity donation from Sara - photo by Rebecca Rowsell
Another book creation this year was my annual charity fundraiser...the 2014 Paws For Charity Project.. All funds raised from this project are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (, an animal shelter in Bridgewater. In June, I was happy to make a donation for $880. I'll make another smaller donation at the end of the year. I was a little disappointed in the totals for this year's project, but it felt great to make the donation!